Let us keep the commandment
God cannot be compelled to love someone. In other words, we cannot say He must love someone. We on the other hand absolutely must love. Even if it is difficult or unattractive, we must do it. Jesus said, “the Father loves me because I always obey His commands”. God the Father loves Jesus, not because He is the Son of God but because He always obeys the Father’s command.
In the same way the Lord loves us when we obey His commands. The command that Jesus had received from the Father was ‘Be a sacrifice and pass on my love to mankind’. It was not an easy or attractive proposition even to the Son of God to let Himself be killed. Nevertheless, Jesus obeyed the Father’s commandment. As a result He received the love of the Father and obtained the reward: the salvation of mankind, the judgment of the Devil and the inheritance of the heavenly throne.
The commandment we received from the Lord was to ‘love one another’. The object of love mentioned here is not the neighbor in a general sense, that is, local residents, but the members who comprise the body of Christ. The reason we must love the people who form one body in Christ is not because they are lovable, but because the Lord commanded us to. Jesus gave His life to obey the Father’s commandment. What then must we do who are a mere creation?
Why is the commandment important? It is because the remuneration to those who keep the commandment and those who do not is completely different. When Israelites were trained under the law, those who did not keep the commandments of God were immediately punished. In the New Testament dispensation, those who disobey the commandment of God do not immediately receive the penalty or suffer the curse of their disobedience. This is because in New Testament times a person’s soul must pay the penalty for sin when they violate the commandment whereas in the Old Testament times they suffered the penalty in the flesh.
At first glance it may seem that those who violate God’s commandment and live to satisfy their flesh prosper. However, they who violate God’s commandments will find themselves being dragged away from God and growing hostile towards God. It is an unchangeable principle that God punishes disobedience. (Deuteronomy 7:9~11) In the New Testament Times, the punishment is merely postponed a little while. Nevertheless, you must not be lulled into believing that the penalty for sin has ceased because there has not been an immediate recompense for disobedience. God will remember all that we have done and how we have violated His commandments and He will settle all accounts with us on the last day.